Car makers appear to be getting ingenious to deal with the global chip shorgae. According to a report in Automotive News, Ford Motor Co plans to ship and sell partially built vehicles that are awaiting semiconductors or related components that control non-safety critical features. The company’s decision comes in the wake of the chip shortage facing auto makers globally. The company has is reportedly set to start selling and shipping Explorer SUVs.
What are the ‘missing chips’
These Ford Explorer SUVs will be shipped without the chips that power rear air conditioning and heating controls. The automaker will ship the missing semiconductors to dealers within one year, which they will then install in customers’ vehicles after purchase.
Ford spokesperson Said Deep told The Verge that heating and air condition will still be controllable from the front seats. He further added that this change is only temporary and that Ford is doing this as a way to bring new Explorers to customers faster.
Special discount for buyers
The customers who choose to purchase a vehicle without the rear controls will receive a price reduction. Initially, the automaker had plans to ship partially-built, undrivable vehicles to dealers last year. Last month, hundreds of new Ford Bronco vehicles were standing idle near its Michigan assembly plant in the US, awaiting chips, the report says.
Ford is not the only one
Incidentally, Ford is not the only one. GM has dropped wireless charging, HD radios, and a fuel management module due to chip shortage. Tesla sold some cars without USB ports and made them installable at a later date. Similarly among luxury car makers, Cadillac reportedly nixed its hands-free driving feature in the 2022 models of Escalade. BMW too has shipped some cars without touchscreens.